Surrender Hill just released their new album "A Whole Lot of Freedom" and to celebrate we asked Robin Dean Salmon to tell us about the song "Will You Pass Me By." Here is the story:
Back in April 2018, we traveled west to play some shows in Texas, Arizona, California, and back in Texas. Anyone who has ever traveled west on Interstate 10 knows how desolate it is between San Antonio and El Paso. We love it. We love the wide open spaces, and an 80 mile-per-hour speed limit ain't bad either. On our return trip, we were somewhere between El Paso and Ft. Stockton, Texas. We started seeing these billboard signs about "The Thing." Don't miss "The Thing" at exit such and such. Well we finally decided we should see "The Thing," so we pulled onto the exit ramp, and all we saw ahead of us was a rather beat-up looking gas station. Nothing else around. However, at the bottom of the ramp was a man standing with a cardboard sign that read "Please Don't Pass Me By." It was a pretty powerful image and statement. We stopped and went inside to see "The Thing," and I honestly can't remember a Thing at all. When we left, we gave the man at the end of the ramp some cash and got on our way.
For the next 100 miles or so, the man at the end of the ramp really stuck with us, and we started talking about him. We headed on to a super cool town in Texas called Marfa, where we stayed in an old railway station master's house. We had a couple of days of down time there, so we wrote "Will You Pass Me By." Afton and I have been incredibly lucky in that we have so many folks who have helped us along our journey with our music. "Will You Pass Me By" is a tribute to all of those folks, and a song we genuinely love to sing at our shows.
This song was one of the first songs we recorded for the album. Afton and I recorded a version of the song with acoustic guitar, vocals, and some tremolo guitar. A few months later when Matt Crouse came to lay down drum tracks, he overdubbed the drums to the tracks we already had. We then flushed the song out with some bass, organ, and Wyatt Espalin on the fiddle.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here